Posts

Top Posts of 2016

Surveying this year's blog posts, several seemed to have caught a larger share of views than others. Posts about culture, and about change, were more popular.  

For Creative Innovation, Get Some Kids

Three Roles for Leaders of Change

Winning Attitude

Culture:  By Default or By Design?

Crazy Good

The Way to Build A Better Company

What's Stopping You?

It's Not About You

Your Culture is the Key to Your Success

Looking forward to more in 2017....

A Year of Change

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What a year of change!

Much of it positive, though not all.

After thirty years in New Brunswick, we moved! We had been talking about it for several years. We had agreed that, when our elderly neighbor was gone, that we would go too.

Her death was a major turning point for us because, not only had we lost a friend and neighbor, but her house would soon become a rental for Rutgers students.

Even with an agreement that we would sell our home, it was still incredibly hard, especially for my wife Joan who suffered emotionally throughout the process. There were days when I thought I might lose her.

Not long after, we also sold our "vacation home," a rental we had purchased for our sons, and their friends, to live in while in college.

In so doing, we cut our ties with New Brunswick, my home town where I had lived for over 61 years.

At this same time, our favorite restaurant, Tumulty's Pub, was sold, and our go-to auto service station, University Shell, was sold too.

And we sol…

Zombie Performance Reviews

You know why zombies are so popular in contemporary culture? You can't stop 'em. There's something weirdly fascinating about the idea of the dead suddenly and inexplicably re-animating...and coming after you for its next meal. But we can turn off the TV and leave the theater after a zombie show and comfort ourselves with the thought that there is no such thing as a zombie in real life. Right? Wrong. We apparently have a bona fide zombie apocalypse happening in parts of corporate America: the once dead-as-a-doornail performance review process has sprung back to life. Just the other day I came across some updates on LinkedIn about a new resurgence around performance reviews. Apparently, if HR and business leaders reframe their thinking, and alter their culture, then performance reviews can deliver on their promise. As an OD Guy, I try to look at performance evaluation processes as objectively as I can, while recognizing that I do have a personal bias about them. To adopt a …

Two Ways to Measure Employee Engagement

Recently, in several client sessions on the topic of employee engagement, I was asked, How should you measure engagement?
Without saying so directly, I facilitated them toward the answer to another question: Why would you measure it?
Here's how we did it.
After setting the stage with information (drawn in part from the work done by the Gallup organization) about What employee engagement is and Why it's so important, I asked this polling question:
What can a Manager do to promote employee engagement?
As each person answered, we kept a running tally of the answers on a flipchart or white board.The answers included such ideas as...
Keep an open mindSolicit inputCommunicate oftenListenBe availableProvide coachingGive feedbackRecognize each person for the contribution they make to the teamBe flexibleEmpower the team

And more. You can imagine what other answers were given.
What comes next, though, is the important part.
These answers can be turned into two types of measurement tools for empl…

Leading is a verb

I write about leadership quite a bit. It's a big part of the work I do with my corporate clients when they bring me in to help them with things like change, engagement, and culture.
The other day, a colleague of mine shared a reaction to the word "leadership," saying:
When I see the word leadership, I think of the quote from the author John LeCarre: "A desk is a dangerous place from which to view the world." What ever happened to MBWA?
Good point.  Leading is a verb. A leader is known by the actions he or she takes.
Here are three actions of real leaders.

1. They ask for input - Leaders know that power is not in position. Rather, power is in posture. And the most powerful posture is humility. An open and receptive posture that invites and welcomes many voices and perspectives. "What are your thoughts?" is a positive power play with real potential. So, leaders actively seek the ideas of their team members. "What do you guys think we should do?" i…

Change: A Moving Experience

My wife and I moved recently, after living in our prior place for 30 years. Trust me when I say, it was truly a moving experience.
Change guru William Bridges was right about the phases that one goes through during a major life change such as moving.
After 30 years, in a home where we raised our two sons, the Ending phase of change was swift but the Letting Go was hard. Even though we chose this path, the sense of loss was deeply felt. My wife really went through the famous cycle of emotions first described by Elizabeth Kubler Ross in her classic work "On Death and Dying."
After we sold our house, we entered the Neutral Zone, a period of transition that lasted for months, as we waited for the owners of our home-to-be to move out and go on with their next chapter in life.
We moved in with one of our sons, in a small rental property, and disturbed his equilibrium in every way.
Being in-between put us in internet limbo for quite some time. My smart phone became my internet device. W…

Soft Skills vs Hard Skills?

Does the expression "soft skills" irk you or work for you?

Here is a little diagnostic:

In your business, does it matter how your reps treat your customers?

In your business, does it matter how your supervisors and managers treat their subordinates?

In your business, does it matter if your teams get along well?

Let me cut to the chase. Soft skills ARE hard skills.

They  are hard to master.

They are hard to beat when you have them.

And it will go hard for you when you don't.

This is true because your hard results such as production and profits, depend on them.

Terrence Seamon teaches soft skills to help his clients achieve success.